What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

STRESS-FREE BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

     Home  >  Articles  > CHILD RAISING
by Dr. Susan Bartell

Related: back to school shopping for kids, school supply shopping, tips for back to school shopping, back to school shopping budget,


It's back-to-school season again, which means it is time to go shopping for school supplies. Although you bought your kids new crayons last year and they're in good shape to use again this year, your child might try to bargain with you for another set. Make shopping for school supplies easier for you and your child with five quick tips.

Do you break out in a cold sweat when you think about back-to-school supply shopping? If so, you’re not alone. Until you have had this particular experience with your child it’s hard to imagine the amount of decision-making and the length of time that it could take to select a box of markers or choose a new lunch box.

Back-to-School ShoppingSome parents just can’t take the negotiating and seemingly never-ending expenditure, so they shop without their child—despite knowing that they might have to return half their purchases because they are the wrong color, size, or brand! Others try to preserve their sanity by relinquishing all control—letting the kids buy whatever their heart desires (thank goodness for credit cards!).

In truth, neither extreme is necessarily the best way to tackle back-to-school shopping. This is because it is important to teach kids how to negotiate, budget, and make choices. It is also critical for them to learn to manage their frustrated or angry feelings that might be associated with hearing the word “no” from you. Therefore, rather than avoiding the trials associated with school-supply shopping, this is an excellent opportunity to work on all these skills with your child.

I wish you the best of luck getting your child back to school fully stocked—with as little stress and frustration as possible! Here’s the way to do it:

1. Before you hit the stores, examine the shopping list with your child to determine whether there are any points of conflict (your child wants a certain brand of markers that cost $10 a box, for instance, while you believe that the $2.99 store brand is more than sufficient). It is better to have this discussion at home rather than in the store among the crowds of other stressed-out back-to-school shoppers. This way, if you have to have an argument with your child, you won’t feel embarrassed and forced to give in to something you’d rather not.

2. If it is important to you, then give your child a budget for bigger-ticket items like a new lunch box, backpack, or back-to-school outfit.

3. Recognize that the details of some items may seem unimportant to you, but could be very important to your child. (Think of how much effort you might put in to choosing the exact blue to paint your room.) You should therefore be willing to compromise in some areas. Remember, your child has to use these school supplies for the entire school year.

4. Don’t shop for school supplies when you and your child are tired, hungry, distracted, or pressured for time. This is guaranteed to result in fighting and challenging decision-making that you won’t feel good about later.

5. Keep receipts! If your child comes home from the first day of school feeling that a huge mistake has been made on a particular item (“Mom, the backpack I got is for babies!”), you will be able to fix the mistake with minimal stress and aggravation.

By following these tips, you might find that for the first time, school-supply shopping is a pleasant experience, rather than one that you dread each year.

Dr. Susan Bartell is a Long Island-based, nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Her latest book is “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask.” You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at drsusanbartell.com.

Also See:

 



Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More CHILD RAISING Articles

How to Teach Kids to Separate Food and Feelings
Tips to Help Improve Your Child's Reading Skills
Helping Your Tween Transition to and Navigate Middle School
When Quitting is the Exact Right Thing to Do
What Will I Do This Summer?

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local CHILD RAISING Sponsors

Giant Siding & Windows Inc
901 North Broadway
White Plains, NY
877-754-4268
Giant Aluminum began with a father and son selling...

Little Picasso
313 East 61st Street
New York, NY
646-559-1588
Little Picasso NYC is a place where children can h...

Knox School Summer Adventures
541 Long Beach Road
St. James, NY
631-686-1640
Knox School Summer Adventures has begun its eleven...

Art Parties
917-952-1015
...

St. Patrick Youth Community
280 E. Main St.
Smithtown, NY
631-724-1261 & 631-360-0257
St. Patrick's is a wonderful place for children an...
See Our CHILD RAISING Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE